Sunday, 22 July 2012

Britain Creates: Fashion + Art Collusion

Two weeks ago I went to see the Britain Creates: Fashion + Art Collusion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The premise of the exhibition was to bring artists and fashion designers together to collaborate on brand new pieces of art that celebrate design and innovation during this important year in the history of Britain. Each piece was unique and really showed off the collective strengths of each artist or designer. I really enjoyed working my way through the intimate space.

This free exhibition ends on the 29th July 2012 at the V&A Museum so catch it if you can, there’s more details about the artists and their work here

Jonathan Saunders + Jess Flood Paddock
Each individual screen print was created by tossing one of Jonathan Saunders’ jumpers on to an exposing plate. The shapes created were then printed using vibrant coloured inks. The artists decided to present these prints as if they were clothes on a rail, almost like a mass produced fashion line. This was probably one of my favourite pieces in the exhibition, because of it’s simplicity and the clever way they combined colours.

Celestial Bonnet
Stephen Jones + Cerith Wyn Evans
They designed a ‘hat’ inspired by the five rings of the Olympic Games. I loved the concept of it being more of a halo than a traditional hat. The small plinth beneath allowed viewers to actually wear the piece for themselves. Seeing this made me think of star-laden constellations and atoms buzzing round.

Tint the pallid landscape (off to the wars in lace)
Mary Katranzou + Mark Titchner
Mary and Mark are both known for really dense, layered design in their individual work so it was quite interesting to see how they would merge their styles in this new piece. The animation is actually 7 minutes long but I filmed just over just under a minute of it. I’ve been a fan of Kantrantzou’s hyper realistic and sometimes psychedelic prints since her SS 11 collection. They are so beautifully engineered that it’s easy to get lost in the world that she orchestrates. Her digital imagery was the perfect backdrop for Titchner’s pulsating text, words that reflect the spirit of the Olympics. 


Giles Deacon + Jeremy Deller
The print used by Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller for their lycra bodysuit was based on a stained glass window designed by famous craftsman, William Morris. The fact that their piece was the only wearable piece in the exhibit made it even more unique. I loved the way the combined contemporary sportswear with the matching cape and headress, it added a sense of drama and mystique to the piece. I can imagine someone like Daphne Guinness pulling off an outfit like this.

Peter Pilotto + Francis Upritchard
Christopher De Vos and Peter Pilotto (the designers at Peter Pilotto) and Francis Upritchard produced a sculpture based on an interesting yoga pose Francis saw in an old handbook. Francis created the sculpture which was then decked out in a body suit and cap designed and embellished in handmade fishscale shapes and sequins by Peter Pilotto. I found the pose a little creepy but then again I’ve never done yoga before so stuff like this might be perfectly normal.

Matthew Williamson + Mat Colishaw
This piece was based on one of Mat Colishaw’s Insecticide photographs where he crushes insects between 35mm glass slides, producing some hauntingly beautiful imagery. Williamson embellished one of Mat’s broken butterflies with thousands of sequins and beads, creating a three dimensional relief on top of the image. I love how the organic nature of Williamson’s beadwork appears to be sprouting out of the photograph. The depth and detail really can’t be appreciated enough until you see a close-up, luckily I took some detail shots too!

Dissecting Waltz
Nicholas Kirkwood + Simon Periton
Nicholas Kirkwood and Simon Periton created a set of rotating rings from which components of shoes and scalpels are suspended. It almost represents the process of making or un-making shoes. One thing I loved about this piece was the noise created as the rings rotate, it literally sounds like a production line taking in the raw materials and bringing out the finished product.

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